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Keith Glennon (1923 -1983)
Dance in Australia: papers, notes, correspondence, etc., 1913-1970

MSS 792.80994 G558d


Keith Glennon was a trained dancer, a theatre technician with J.C. Williamson and the founding administrator of the Mornington Island Dancers. Glennon and Alan Brissenden conceived and wrote drafts of the book during the late 1950s and early 1960s – a very active time for dance in Australia.

Glennon travelled from state to state collecting material, interviewing artists and corresponding with companies and artists, hitchhiking much of the way. He was freely given letters, photographs, programmes and original sketches of costumes, scenery and performances by designers such as Kenneth Rowell, William Constable, Elaine Haxton, Ruth Shackel and Harald Vike.

Alan Brissenden trained as a teacher and spent time in country New South Wales schools. He discovered his passion for dance while an undergraduate and was dance critic for the Sydney Morning Herald from 1952 to 1955. In 1960, when Brissenden left for England to undertake a PhD, they were contracted for the book to be published but it was cancelled due to the recession.

Brissenden returned to Australia in 1963 as Lecturer in the Dept of English at the University of Adelaide where he remained for more than 30 years, retiring in 1994 but continuing as an Honorary Visiting Research Fellow until his death in 2020. With Glennon, he updated the book but failed to find a publisher. Glennon’s collection was stored in a garage until his death in 1983 when his brothers donated the 22 archival boxes to the Barr Smith Library.

In 1994 Brissenden retired and began to revise the manuscript yet again which was eventually published by the Wakefield Press in 2010.

Contents Listing

Source materials for the book "Australia Dances: Creating Australian dance 1945–1965" edited by Alan Brissenden and Keith Glennon (2010)

Boxes 1-13

Drafts of book chapters (manuscript and typescript), together with some related correspondence, programmes newspaper cuttings and photographs.

Boxes 1-2 General - final drafts of proposed history 
Box 3 Australian Ballet Company
  National Theatre Ballet Company
Box 4 National Ballet
  Australian Dance Theatre
  Ballet Australia
  Ballet Theatre of Queensland, Queensland Ballet Company
Box 5 Western Australia
Box 6 New South Wales
Box 7 South Australia
Box 8 Queensland
Boxes 9-10 Individual dancers/directors of smaller companies and groups.
Box 9 Nell Johnson and Desley Gardiner
  Coralie Hinkley
  Joanne Priest
  Ronne Arnold
  Margaret Barr 
[see also Box 10, Barr and Bodenwieser]
  Jean Dembitska
  Joy Lodge
  Margo Thomas
  Ruth Bergner
  Sonia Revid
  Lola von Laban
  Joan Henry
  Joan Joske
  Hanny Kolm
  Helene Ffrance
  Cornelius Conyn
  Daisy Pirnitzer-Behrend
  Pat Edye-Martyn
  Elisabet Wiener
  Gerda Haas
  Margaret Lasica
  (New Dance Theatre)
Box 10 Ruth Galene (New Dance Theatre)
  R. Kousnetzova
  Katherine Dunham
  Shirley McKechnie
  Burlakov & Lightfoot
  Beth Dean
  Barr and Bodenweiser 
[see also Box 18]
Boxes 11-12 Companies and organisations
Box 11 Borovansky Ballet
Box 12 Modern Dance
  Aboriginal Theatre
  Australia Council for the Arts
  Dalcroze Eurhythmics
  Ballet Theatre le Francais
Box 13 Adult Education, C.A.E., Arts Council, Australian Children's Theatre, Ethnic Dance.
Box 14 Correspondence with Alan Brissenden, Walter Stringer and others and with publishers  regarding the research for and publication of the work Australia Dances; also notes  on publication details and arrangements.  1955-70.
  Papers re the Society of Dance Arts (S.O.D.A.)  1969. 
[file includes material on Dance Concert 1967-72 and undated and a Contemporary  Dance Theatre concert 1968.] 

Boxes 15-16

Box 15

Box 16

Photographs of dancers and performances.

Photographs included in Australia Dances

Photographs not used in Australia Dances - see Special list

Box 17 Newspaper cuttings.
Boxes 18-20 Ballet programmes and magazines.
Box 18 Genée (1913), Pavlova (1926, 1929), Fonteyn (1957) 
Visiting companies, including Ballets Russe de Monte Carlo (1936-37) and Covent Garden Ballet Russe (1939) 
Borovansky 1945-60 
Box 19 Bodenwieser c.1949-60, Australian Ballet 1962-71 and miscellaneous.
Box 20 Dance magazines [including Australasian Dance vol.1 no.1, March   1971 - vol.2 no.1, December 1972; Young Ballerina 1968-72 and various 1960s  issues of Masque.
Boxes 21-22 Miscellaneous (notes, cuttings, programmes, etc., in files and bundles variously listed by Glennon e.g. Exams, Eisteddfords, Receptions). 
Box 22
(part) and MapCabinet
Original sketches - costumes, sets, performances.  Most undated and many unidentified.

Special list - Original sketches - costumes, sets, performances, 1946-1957, plus some undated - Box 22 plus Folios 1-12

Box 22.1 Helen George (9 items)
Borovansky Ballet, Giselle (19??). Peggy Sager as Myrtha; Giselle with sword (Act 1) 2 sheets (conté)
Studio Theatre Ballet, The Listener (19??). Group of 3 dancers. 2 sheets (conté & wash)
Studio Theatre Ballet, Joan of Arc (1956). 2 dancers x 2. 2 sheets (1 pencil & conté, 1 conté & wash)
Borovansky Ballet, Prince Igor (19??). Dancer. 1 sheet (conté)
Borovansky Ballet, Les Sylphides (19??). Prelude (?)  1 sheet (conté)
With an accompanying letter from Helen George to Glennon 15/2/1957

Box 22.2 Elaine Haxton (12 items)
Decorations for Australia Dances. Also note from Keith Glennon to Rod Shaw.11 sheets (8 pen, 3 red chalk)
With an accompanying note from Keith Glennon to Rod Shaw of Edward & Shaw [1960?]

Box 22.3 Erica McGilchrist (3 items)
Victorian Ballet Guild, Blythe Ballet (1953). Costume designs. 2 sheets, plus 1 booklet (4 p.) (watercolour)

Folio 1 Ruth Shackel (8 items)
Victorian Ballet Guild, L’Amour Enchanté (1950) (later The Lake). Costume designs. 4 sheets (ink & watercolour)
Victorian Ballet Guild, Choreomania (1950). Costume designs. 3 sheets (watercolour)
Unidentified costume design, “Kangaroo Paw” (probably not Victorian Ballet Guild work) 1 sheet (watercolour)

Folio 2 Unidentified costume design (1 item)

Folio 3 Possibly Victorian Ballet Guild (6 items)
Harold Vike, sketches of dancer in same pose. 5 sheets (ink drawings)
Dancers in Swan Lake and various unidentified works (possibly including Coppelia) 1 sheet of 6 ink drawings

Folio 4 Nina Brabant (7 items)
Victorian Ballet Guild, Rehearsal (195?), Mathinna (1954), The Wedding (1956), [Dancer on pointe], [Dancer with ladder], The Sentimental Bloke (1952) x 2. 7 sheets (pen and wash)

Folio 5 Copies of designs (3 items)
Bakst: design for L’Après midi d’une Faune, and a Hindu/Indian identity. Gontcharova’s design for The Queen of Shenakhan from Fokine’s Le Coq d’Or. 3 sheets (watercolour)

Folio 6 Various (13 Items)
Sydney Ballet Group, Theseus and the Minotaur (1952). Kelvin [Wayne] Pleming, costume designs. 1 sheet (ink & watercolour)
Victorian Ballet Guild, Apollon Musagete (1951) (then M. Scott Stravinsky). Nick McKenzie, 2 costume designs and 1 set design. 3 sheets
West Australian Ballet, Coppelia (1955). V. Rostof, 2 costume designs and 1 set design (Act 1). 3 sheets [Note: Signature may be Rastas – if so then Caravan Ballet]
Also unidentified costume designs dated 1954, one character labelled Gundi, another Ingrid. 6 sheets

Folio 7 Photographs – various (8 items)
National Theatre Ballet: Romantic Suite (1949) - Joyce Graeme. 1 photograph
Victorian Ballet Guild: The Lake (1950?) - Eve King. 1 photograph
Graham Smith (unidentified), Jean Stewart (photographer) 2 photographs
National Theatre Ballet: Margaret Scott (1949) 1 photograph
Chinese National Theatre (c1956-1957) 2 photographs
Queensland Ballet :The Utopians (19??)– Mary Heath, Harold Collins and the corps de ballet. Geoff Danth (photographer) 2 photographs
Folio 8 Sketches for publications (5 items)
Victorian Ballet Guild, Ballade (1946) – costume design by Len Annois for the Guild’s first programme, 5/11/1946. 1 sheet
Elaine Haxton: studies for chapter heading “Touring” for proposed publication, Australia Dances. 4 sheets (1 colour , 3 b&w)

Folio 9 Wilfred Asplin (4 items)
Polish Australian Ballet, Coppelia (1952). Costume designs. 4 sheets (2 colour, 2 pencil sketches)

Folio 10 William Constable & Barry Kay (8 items)
Borovansky Ballet
Petrouchka (1951). William Constable, costume design for The Moor [1950]
The Black Swan (1951). William Constable, unfinished front cloth design. 2 sheets (watercolour)

Victorian Ballet Guild
Swan Lake (1954). Barry Kay, set design and gauze design (Act 2); costume designs for Von Rothbart and Prince Siegfried (Act 2)
Maldicion (1954). Barry Kay, 2 costume designs, 1 for the Sorceress. 6 sheets

Folio 11 Kenneth Rowell & Harold Vike (5 items) 
Studio Theatre Ballet, Kenneth Rowell, costume design for the Girl in a projected ballet, 1944. 1 sheet (watercolour)
National Theatre Ballet, Aurora’s Wedding (1949). Kenneth Rowell, costume design for Prince Florestan and Sisters [1949] 1 sheet (watercolour)
Victorian Ballet Guild, The Selfish Giant (1947). Harold Vike, set design. 1 sheet (watercolour)
National Theatre Ballet, Kaleidoscope (1949?). Harold Vike, costume designs. 2 sheets

Folio 12 Various (14 items)
National Theatre Ballet, Les Sylphides (1949). Kenneth Rowell, set design [dated 1949] 1 sheet (watercolour). With a Harry Jay photograph of a scene from the 1949 production featuring Rowell's set design [donated by Nicholas Henderson March 2010]

Borovansky Ballet, Symphonie Fantastique (1954). William Constable, set designs for 1st, 2nd & 5th Movements [dated 1953] 3 sheets (watercolour)
Borovansky Ballet, Fifth Symphony (Les Presages) (1955). William Constable, set design and conjective study for front cloth. 2 sheets (watercolour)
Borovansky Ballet, Petrouchka (1951). William Constable, costume designs for A Street Dancer [dated 1950] 2 sheets (watercolour)

Victorian Ballet Guild, Mathinna (1954). Nina Brabant, sketch of Mathinna; set design for Act 2. 2 sheets (watercolour)
Victorian Ballet Guild, En Cirque (1952); Contes Heraldiques (1946). Nina Brabant, sketches. 2 sheets (pen)
Victorian Ballet Guild, Blythe Ballet (1953). Erica Gilchrist, set design (another unfinished on reverse) 1 sheet (watercolour)

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